Party Lights from Soda Bottles
After a hard day of blogging and crafting, I was sitting on my deck contemplating the bean field, talking to Big Black Dog and drinking a soda. Did you know those plastic cola bottles have some really cute designs in them? Hmmm…
Here is what you will need; about 6 soda bottles depending on how many lights you want, some type of saw to cut the necks off the bottles, a string of indoor/outdoor mini lights, craft knife, scissors, deco-podge medium, food coloring, paint brush and of course, hot glue.
Taking my soda bottle back inside, I tried cutting off the top portion (where the cap screws on) with a knife. That was way too much work as these bottles are particularly thick at the top and on the very bottom. I got out my electric carving knife and it worked quite well at cutting off the tops of the bottles, keep turning the bottle as you cut and apply steady pressure. About this time HOUSEMATE entered the kitchen. I think he might have been a little concerned about what was on the supper menu, because he asked his all time favorite question; ‘What are you doing?” Well, it seemed perfectly obvious to me, but I obliged him with and answer, “I’m cutting up soda bottles” After 40 years, you’d think he’d learn, but he went ahead and asked his next favorite question “Why?” Again, I thought it should be obvious, but I answered “I’m gonnna make something.” “Oh…Sigh.”
Once you get the neck off the bottles, they are easily cut with scissors or a craft knife. Make the first two cuts with a craft knife where I’ve indicated with the lines, the top where the top of the label would be and the bottom at the narrowest part.
Next with your scissors, cut up into the indentions in the top portion, rounding the bottom edges and forming long petals. Cut a small sliver in between each petal. the bottle will actually guide you where to cut. Only cut up about an inch and a half between each petal.
Then cut the bottom portion, first cutting off the bottom just at the line that appears just above the bumps on the bottom of the bottle. Then round out up into the bumps to make more petal shapes.
Then, from the smooth middle section, cut two leaf shapes.
I used deco-podge medium colored with a few drops of food coloring and applied a thick layer to the inside of the pieces. I used yellow for the bottom portion and orange for the bumpy portion and of course, green for the leaves. It is quite easy to mix this, pour a little medium into a small sealable jar, drop in about 5 drops of food color, put on the lid and shake. If you don’t use it all, it will stay fresh for other projects if sealed tightly. I used a soft flat paint brush and dabbed on the medium rather than trying to stroke it on. The great thing about this medium, is it is self smoothing. Allow all the pieces to dry overnight. when dry they will be clear.
The next step is to put a hole in the center of the bumpy piece where you will insert the light. I tried drilling, but had little luck with such a tough slick surface, so I pulled out a soldering rod and an OLD tip (experience note – DO NOT use HOUSEMATE”S new soldering gun and tip). once the tip is heated , just insert it into the center top of the bumpy part and melt a hole large enough to insert an indoor/outdoor mini light.
Assemble the flowers by running a bead of low temp hot glue around the top of the yellow piece and attaching it to the center of the bumpy piece. Now your pieces are beginning to look like flowers.
Next, determine how you want your pieces to be displayed on the light cord. It worked out that I made six flower pieces and that was just enough to evenly distribute on the light cord by using every third light.
Insert the mini light into the top of the orange bumpy piece. just the light part, leaving the green top piece out at the top and secure it with some more low temp hot glue. Next glue the leaves to the top in front of the light where is comes out of the top of the flower. (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of this step)
Now you have a lovely string of flower party lights for your next outdoor (or indoor) party!
I’m sure there are dozens more designs you can come up with for party lights. I hope you will share them with us.